Sunday, November 4, 2007

miracles - thanks to Hans

up the camino high route out of villafranca del bierzo

deflecting cattle away from a frightened german peregrina

camera repair 101

bandage for a fallen knee

this walk was fraught with miracles - when we needed a translator from american english to spanish, an american living in spain was walking next to us. when we fell sick, a taxi cab driven by a former pilgrim appeared out of the mists.

but the most curious of all the daily miracles was falling into step for the entire month with Hans Schreyer - who engaged not only all fellow pilgrims - many at a moment of need - but all strangers - policeman and farmer alike - as well as small cats, all dogs, cows and sheep - often calling out to sparrows as we walked the hedgerows along the Way - and as Hans casts no shadow - it was a little like walking to Santiago with St Francis - without the stigmata problem (or at least, i think so).

more curiously, susan and i were originally planning to walk the camino with our maternal uncle who was instead called out of retirement to teach this fall's session when his university colleague fell sick. strangely, the camino provided our uncle - one that spoke all the necessary languages of the camino - yes, ok, german and lots of english and italian - some spanish as he invented it - but more by smile, hug and handshake - just so, the camino opened up before us - thanks to Hans.

by the time we arrived in santiago, familiar pilgrims would salute me and ask only "Where's Hans??"


Hans said...

Lieber Gary,
zuerst danke ich Dir für die freundlichen Worte.

Einige Wochen sind nun nach unserer Ankunft in Santiago und unserem Abschied vergangen. Und mit diesen Wochen wuchs die Faszination des Camino.
Ich denke dabei an die Herbergen, ob schlicht oder gut ausgestattet, an die Wege, ob Pfade, Feldwege, Staubpisten oder brutalem Asphalt, an die unterschiedlichen Landschaften, ob durch die Berge, Weingärten, Mesetas oder durch das galicische Grün, an das Wetter, ob Sonne, Regen, Sturm, Hitze oder Kälte, an die großen und kleinen Kunstschätze in den Orten entlang des Camino, an die vielen Nebensächlichkeiten links und rechts des Weges, an die Spannung, die sich im Laufe der Tage bis zur Ankunft beim Apostel in Santiago aufbaut und an die Gefühle dort, die einen fast umhauen. Ich denke an die vielen Menschen unterschiedlicher Nation, Sprache Alter und Motivation, die man trifft und wieder verliert, bevor man sie irgendwo mit Freuden wieder sieht.
Und ich denke an Euch, an Susan und an Dich, als angenehme, verlässliche Begleitung. Als wir die Herbergen verlassen haben, gemeinsam los gingen und dann doch jeder für sich alleine pilgerte, als wir uns immer wieder trafen, uns über alles am Weg freuten und die diversen Misslichkeiten als Prüfung ansahen. Als wir Café con Leche oder Vino tranken, uns - soweit es meine mäßigen Englischkenntnisse zuließen - über alles Mögliche unterhielten und gemeinsam glücklich waren, als wir in Santiago ankamen.
Das, und nur das alles macht die Faszination des Caminos aus.
Ihr seid ein wichtiger Teil davon und unauslöschlich in meinen Gedanken verankert. Ich danke Euch.

Ein herzliches Hóla und liebe Grüße an Susan


Gary Regester said...

Translation to English by Google (

Dear Gary,
First, I thank you for your kind words.

Some weeks are now after our arrival in Santiago and our farewell passed. And this week grew up with the fascination of the Camino.
I am thinking of the hostels, whether simple or well-equipped, to the trails, whether paths, dirt tracks, dust brutal slopes or asphalt, to the different landscapes, whether through the mountains, vineyards, Mesetas or by the Galician green, the weather, whether sun, rain, storms, heat or cold, to the large and small art treasures in the towns along the Camino, to the many secondary left and right of the path to power, during the days until the arrival at the apostles in Santiago builds and the feelings there, a nearly umhauen. I think of the many people of different nations, language, age and motivation, and it meets again loses before going somewhere with them again looks delights.
And I think of you, to Susan and to you, as a pleasant, reliable companion. As we leave the hostels, were going together, and then everyone for themselves alone pilgrimage, as we repeatedly met us about everything on the way and enjoyed the various examination Misslichkeiten than one. When we Cafe con Leche or drank wine, we - as far as my knowledge of English allowed moderate - talking about everything together and were happy when we arrived in Santiago.
That, and just all that is the fascination of the Caminos.
You are an important part of it and indelible in my thoughts anchored. Thank you.

Hóla A warm greetings and love to Susan